Aboriginal Economy and Society compares and contrasts aspects of Aboriginal economy and society across seven different regions, from the southwest of Western Australia to the tip of Cape York. The book reconstructs and explores the relationships between environment, technologies, economy and society in these regions as they were at ‘the threshold of European colonisation’. Discussion is developed in a number of traditional areas of focus and debate within the discipline of social and cultural anthropology. These include the relationship between environment and culture, the construction of group and individual identity, kinship and marriage, cosmology, governance, and the control and organisation of production, distribution and exchange.
Aboriginal Economy and Society is the first systematic, broad-based comparative study of Aboriginal society with a continental scope and is an invaluable contribution to the study of anthropology.
• Provides a broad but integrated picture of ‘precolonial’ Aboriginal society and
economy, bringing together environment and material life, social organisation, beliefs, as well as examples of differences across the continent
• Covers a broad range of social and environmental issues such as resources and
technologies; the organisation of social life including identity, marriage, religion, and government; and the economic organisation of the seven regions
• Synthesises and interprets early descriptions of economic and social life in parts of the southeast and southwest of Australia, and draws on more recent studies in central and northern Australia
• The first comparative study of Aboriginal society with a continental scope
• Each chapter is independent of the other making it attractive for teaching purposes
• Each chapter can be set for reading, depending on the course structure